Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Grammar Lesson: Incorrect Forms of "Transgender"

 Transgender Terms that are always incorrect:
  • a transgender
  • transgenders
  • transgendered

The term transgender is an adjective (i.e. a description), as opposed to being a noun or a verb.  An individual can be transgender, but there is no verb in the English language "to transgender".   Therefore, it's incorrect to say that one is transgendered.  If referring to a transgender person's gender identity expression, it is correct that say that the transgender person has transitioned.  

Transition is a term referring to the measurable steps one takes to express one's gender identity.  This may include all or some combination of the follow­ing personal, legal and medical initiatives: 
  • legally changing one's name and/or gender on legal documents; 
  • communicating being transgender with one's friends, family members, and/or co-workers; 
  • utilizing regular hormone therapy; 
  • dressing and behaving in the manner associated with the gender identity; and,  
  • pursuing one or more of several types of surgery meant to align the body with the brain.  
Transitioning is different for every transgender person, but the overall goal is to balance gender identity with regard to one's personal preferences, objectives, and life situation.


X Incorrect:   He is a transgender. 
Correct:      He is transgender.  He is a transgender man.  He is a transgender person.

X Incorrect:   She is transgendered.     
Correct:      She identifies as transgender.  She has transitioned. 

X Incorrect:   There are several transgendereds in our LGBT organzation.
Correct:      Our LGBT organization has several transgender members.  There are several transgender people in our LGBT organization.

Also incorrect, and often considered offensive or derogatory: He-she, She-male, Tranny.